A week of remembrance and resignations

Fri, Jul 08, 2016

“In Flanders Fields the poppies blow

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Time to bring culture gong home for the west

Fri, Jun 10, 2016

Tomorrow five weeks, on July 15, at around ten past one, when you’re about to take the first bite of your lunchtime sandwich, with the radio on, we might might rue the fact we didn’t do more, that we didn’t try harder. Because at that moment, at that time, it will be too late to make a difference. At that time, the winner of the European Capital of Culture title for 2020 will have been announced. And in two centres, there will be crying, beating of breasts and gnashing of teeth. And in one city, there will be gnashing of breasts and beating of teeth.

In one place, people in coloured teeshirts will hug the bejaysus out of each other and cry tears of joy. In two other places, there will be back slapping, utterings of things like ‘musha, sure ’twas great while it lasted. and sure there’s always 2049 or 2082. Sure there is.” And in those cities which lose out, there will be general disappointment and inquisition as to how some other city managed to pass them out.

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The many faces of bravery

Fri, Jun 03, 2016

We applaud bravery in all its forms. Physical bravery because it is an animal instinct, a desire to confront a challenge that is placed in front of us. We saw this in Edinburgh when faced with a daunting challenge, the Connacht team showed bravery to seize the opportunity, to show the world that their team spirit honed on hard days in the west of Ireland can produce a game of the power, strength and finesse which allowed them to claim the crown. That’s physical bravery.

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A man you don't meet every day

Fri, May 27, 2016

We all like someone good batting for us. Someone who can go out, without resort to a note or a rehearsed rote-learned speech. Who sounds lyrical but not flowery. Who speaks sense. Who preaches what is right. We all love it when our leaders are people who orate easily, who can melt hearts with their smiles and their personality, who can defuse the most tense of situations with an ability to bring sides together. Because when our leaders look and sound well, we think that we look and sound well. If these are the people who represent us, by extension, then we are all the better for having them lead us.

We like our pilots to sound confident and sure; we like our legal briefs to be foppyhaired and articulate; we even like our disgruntled footballers to sound like Keano; we want our presidents to sound like Mary Robinson, we want our words to be those of Michael D. And we want those who represent the past, the present and the future to sound like the late Joe McDonagh.

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Joe’s coming, but we’re more chilled about visits these days

Fri, May 20, 2016

It's hard to bate the smell of new paint you get with a visit from a distinguished visitor. Up and down the country for the last month, houses have been getting a once over for the aunts and uncles and the bouncy castle installers who descend on us all at Holy Communion time.

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The unbridled joy of thumbing the open roads

Fri, May 06, 2016

I saw someone thumbing the other day. And I thought serial killer. Freak. What are they up to now, trying to stop cars with a flick of their thumbs. Should I call the guards. Get them arrested, these weirdoes standing by the side of the road, expecting people to stop and let them in. Do they not know that these people have seen Crimecall? And have Twitter. And read scary reports about freaks out at night. Even though this is the morning time. And serial killers tend not to thumb.

Oh, how we have cast thumbing aside all these years.

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Echoes of the past - how far have we moved on?

Fri, Apr 29, 2016

So here we are again after another week of talks.

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Serious talks at last – but is the end in sight?

Fri, Apr 22, 2016

We had a third inconclusive vote for a Taoiseach last Thursday with neither Enda Kenny nor Micheál Martin winning out. So, what now?

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Debating the debates as the drama unfolds

Fri, Feb 19, 2016

I am sure many of you have been looking at and listening to the Leaders Debates on TV. Last week we had the TV3 one among four leaders: An Taoiseach, An Tánaiste, Micheál Martin, and Gerry Adams. Just this week, on Monday night on RTÉ, we had a Leaders Debate among seven.

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Pick a poll, pick a winner...

Fri, Feb 12, 2016

Well, as we all know the Election is in full swing with dreadful weather everywhere.

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D-Day has come – the Election is called!

Fri, Feb 05, 2016

This weekend saw the Labour Ard Fheis in Mullingar. It was a fine turnout with Joan Burton the star at the Leader’s Speech. Throughout the weekend there is no doubt the local hero was Willie Penrose – a long-time serving Labour TD for Longford-Westmeath.

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Fine Gael in full flight!

Fri, Jan 29, 2016

Never let it be said that I only follow the Ard Fheis of one Party. Last Saturday night, having spent the morning and early afternoon in Dun Laoghaire with Fianna Fáil, I sat down at home to look at Enda Kenny’s speech at the Fine Gael Ard Fheis.

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